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Developing running speed differs in every child - just like learning to read and write. This letter to Coach Ed is concerned with a child who is developing running speed and endurance very quickly. We believe (as the saying goes) If it ain't broke, don't fix it unless: |
1. Sarah doesn't think the races are fun anymore.
2. She develops an injury.
3. She becomes overly concerned with winning.
4. Sarah wants to do something else.
FAST RUNNING by Coach Ed Poirier
November 25, 2007
My daughter's name is Sarah and she has been a running as far back as I can remember. Last spring she decided that she wanted to run in kid's road races along with he 11-year-old sister Meghan. The races are held on Saturday mornings and are on a 2.2 mile U.S.A.T.F. sanctioned course.
The first few races Sarah ran in pace with her sister at approx. 10:30 min/mile. Shortly there after Sarah began running faster and faster. Sarah now averages just over 8 minutes per mile. Here last race she ran at 17:47 (8:05 per mile). Her times beat most 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 year class runners. She easily beats the second place finisher in her class by 5-6 minutes.
My question is this...Is this healthy for her to be running this fast at such a young age? She just turned 6 last month. Her doctor thinks there is no harm that can be done. She only runs on Saturday's with an occasional basketball game during the week.
Is there any safety concerns or tips, advice that you could offer?
Thanks for your help,
I have no concerns. Sarah is just a talented young runner. Mike, I really don't encourage long distance training for young kids but this is different. She is not training to run fast long distance races so to her this is just playing. She just happens to play faster than the other kids. I look at it this way if Sarah was playing tag or jump rope non stop for 20 minutes no one would even question it.
Coach Ed is a Youth Fitness Specialist with the Attleboro YMCA. The Attleboro (Massachusetts) YMCA is the first YMCA in the nation to embark on a healthy youth initiative.